Facebook Buys Instagram: What Does It Mean For You?

Unless you’ve been on a desert island without wi-fi access, by now you’ve heard that Facebook has bought photo-sharing service Instagram for $1 billion. But why did they buy it? And what does it mean for you?

It’s time for the Monday (well, Tuesday) morning quarterbacking as all of the tech analysts, business reporters, and the rest of us on Twitter and Facebook analyze why Facebook bought Instagram.

The Guardian surveyed industry observers about why Facebook would shell out such an enormous sum for the upstart service, which has zero revenue. One thought is that is bought the photo-sharing service so that competitors like Google wouldn’t have access to it. Another viewpoint is that Facebook’s purchase of Instagram would help the social networking site branch out into mobile. “Facebook has also been trying to figure out how to make money as people spend more time on smaller screens,” wrote Jenna Wortham at The New York Times.

But what does the purchase mean to Instagram users? There was an immediate (and loud) outcry on social networking sites like Twitter as hardcore Instagram fans felt somehow cheated that the company “sold out.”

Many were wary that Facebook would ruin Instagram or change its privacy policies. ”Instagram bought by FB just means I will never use it. I don’t need FB having even more data on me,” Tweeted entrepreneur Richard Keith Latman (@icarmagic). Digital Trends even made a To-Do List for users who wanted to delete their Instagram accounts.

But Facebook chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg vowed not to change Instagram significantly. ”We’re committed to building and growing Instagram independently,” Zuckerberg posted on his Facebook feed Monday. He also said:

We think the fact that Instagram is connected to other services beyond Facebook is an important part of the experience. We plan on keeping features like the ability to post to other social networks, the ability to not share your Instagrams on Facebook if you want, and the ability to have followers and follow people separately from your friends on Facebook.

As a casual Instagram user, I’m curious to see how Facebook will integrate the photo-sharing network’s cool filters. What about you? Will you keep using Instagram?

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